- 04 June 2015
Bob Doris SNP MSP for Glasgow has called for a larger share of future cash seized from criminals to be devoted to areas with health inequalities in the Glasgow region, saying it could benefit communities such as Springburn, Royston and Possilpark.
Bob Doris raised the matter in parliament with Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Justice – highlighting the reality that communities that suffer from significant crime often also have significant health inequalities, which are a key cross-Government priority.
Bob was met with a positive response from Cabinet Secretary Matheson, who agreed that Mr Doris had “a valid point that we should consider further” and pledged to do so ahead of the new programme in April 2017.
Commenting afterwards, Bob Doris said: “I am delighted the Scottish Government will give active consideration to using criminal cash in order to further support those I represent living in deprivation and facing significant health inequalities.
“I firmly believe more money should be prioritized in those communities and I will pursue this with the Scottish Government in the run up to the 2017 fund.
“Poor life outcomes and deprivation often drive people to crime – it is only right that cash taken from crooks is used to improve the health and life outcomes in such communities.”
Bob Doris: Communities that suffer from significant crime often also have significant levels of deprivation that can make access to sport and physical activity opportunities more challenging and less affordable. Those communities also have significant health inequalities, which are a key cross-Government priority.
Will the cabinet secretary consider working with ministerial colleagues to refocus a larger share of future proceeds-of-crime cash in those communities, including areas such as Springburn, Royston and Possilpark, which could benefit the constituents that I represent?
Michael Matheson: Bob Doris raises a valid point. All cashback projects are required under the terms of their grants to focus activity in deprived communities identified in the Scottish index of multiple deprivation. Bob Doris may be aware that projects that are currently being funded through the proceeds-of-crime arrangements have their funding and provisions committed until the end of March 2017. Phase 4 of the cashback programme will commence in April 2017 and decisions on that tranche will be taken nearer that time.
Bob Doris raises a valid point that we should consider further, and I assure him that that will be part of our thinking on how we can improve the operation of the cashback programme.